War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0040 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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I inclose* herewith a copy of the terms of the capitulation; also copy of the parole given by the officers and the oath administered to the men. On my arrival with the command in New York I shall have the honor to make a more full and complete report.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major Third Infantry, Commanding.


Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

SIR: I take the earliest opportunity possible to inform you that the six companies of the Eighth Infantry under my command, while marching for the coast under the agreement made between General Twiggs (late of the U. S. Army) and the State of Texas, to the effect that the troops should leave the State, were met by a force under command of Colonel Earl Van Dorn, of the Southern Confederacy, and made prisoners of war. This occurred on the 9th instant, at San Lucas Spring, fifteen miles west of San Antonio. the force under my command, comprising the garrisons of Forts Bliss, Quitman, and Davis, amounted to an aggregate, when leaving the latter post, of 320. This embraces ten officers, two hospital stewards, and twelve musicians. Colonel Bomford, Sixth Infantry, was also with the command. On the day of surrender my command numbered 270 bayonets, being thus reduced by sickness, desertions, and stragglers (some of whom have since joined) who remained at Castroville, from drunkenness, or other causes. The force opposed to me numbered, as (then variously estimated at from 1,500 to 1,700 men) since ascertained to be, was 1,370 aggregate, the total being 848 cavalry, 361 cavalry, and 95 artillery, with 6 field pieces.

When the demand for a surrender was made I was told that the force opposed to me was overwhelming. I had halted in a good position for defense, and could have been overpowered only be a greatly superior force; and as none such was before me I declined to surrender without the presentation of such force. It was on the march, and soon came in sight, but I was not satisfied of its strength until an officer of my command was permitted to examine and report to me the character and probable number of the forces. Upon his report I deemed resistance utterly hopeless, and therefore surrender. My command is now encamped near the head of the San Antonio River awaiting the orders of President Davis, to whom a messenger has been dispatched by Colonel Van Dorn. duty with the command were Captain Blake, Lieutenants Bliss, Lazelle, Peck, Frank, Van Horn, and W. G. Jones, Eighth Infantry; Lieutenant Freedly, Third Infantry; and Assistant Surgeon Peters, Medical Department. A more detailed report will be made as soon as practicable.

I am, sir, yours, respectfully,


Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, U. S. Army, Commanding.


*Omitted here. See subsequent report of June 4, with these inclosures, at p. 49.